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Health News

'A dream come true': Woman who had 20 miscarriages has baby thanks to malaria pill

The hydroxychloroquine tablet was used to to suppress Kelly Moseley’s immune system

A 37-year-old woman who had 20 miscarriages has spoken of her “dream come true” after she had a baby boy following pioneering treatment with an anti-malaria pill that costs just 25p.

Kelly Moseley’s son Tyler, who is now nine months old, is the first child in the world as a result of a mother taking the pill, the Daily Mirror reported.

The 37-year-old from Birmingham said: “There are times I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. He is a miracle in so many ways.  He has made our family and our lives complete.

“So many people were saying, ‘It’s time to stop. You’ve lost too many’. But I just couldn’t. The thought ‘just one more go’ was all that kept me going.”

Hassan Shehata, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, discovered she had a high level of natural killer cells in her immune system. In some women these are so active that they attack the foetus.

He used the malaria tablet, hydroxychloroquine, to suppress her immune system.

“I put all my faith in Mr Shehata. When I became pregnant in September 2012 we didn’t tell a soul,” said Mrs Moseley, who has two daughters from an earlier relationship.

“I hid my bump with baggy tops and lived in a constant state of terror. I woke every morning convinced it was the day I’d lose the baby. But the treatment worked and I can’t thank Mr Shehata enough.”

She and her husband Alan spent 11 years trying to have a child.

“It was hard. I would think, ‘What have I done to deserve this?’” she said.

Mr Moseley, 41, recalled “long drives home, in silence, after more bad news”.

“I could see Kelly was breaking her heart and didn’t know what to say or do,” he said. “I could see how much it meant to her. We’d pull through, then try again.”

Tyler was born at 28 weeks by emergency caesarean section after Mrs Moseley was taken to hospital with high blood pressure. “I kept saying over and over ‘Please don’t let my baby die,’” she told the Mirror.

After the baby grew to a health 5lbs, he was allowed to leave hospital.

Mr Shehata said using the malaria pill came to him in a “eureka moment”.

“I have since used this treatment with 10 to 15 other women and had success too. It’s very exciting,” he said, adding he was writing up a research proposal in hope of getting funding for further work.